Although Christians have been victims of various killings in the country perpetrated by suspected Fulani herdsmen, the peace-making efforts of the church should not be misunderstood to be a weakness, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, has warned.
The organisation on Tuesday said that there was no law prohibiting Christians from defending themselves because if pushed to the wall, the church could react.
The President of PFN, Rev. Felix Omobude, issued the warning during a meeting with Christians at the Living Faith Bible Church (aka Winners Chapel) in Jos, after paying a condolence visit to Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State on the killing of over 200 persons in three Local Government Areas by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
He said, “We call on the government to fish out the perpetrators of this evil across the land. We want to see them get punished; we want to see them answer for their crimes. What has happened in the past, and when it happens like this, is that the most the government will say is to condemn it. We want to see beyond mere condemnation. We want those shielding these evil men to be exposed.
“We will continue to call on Christians to follow the path of peace in line with the injunctions of our faith. I want to sound it unequivocally that the people perpetrating this evil should not think they have a monopoly of violence. The peace drive and peace-making efforts of the church should not be misunderstood to be a weakness. If pushed to the wall, the church can react. There is no law that forbids Christians from defending themselves. We cannot continue to be on the receiving end.”
Omobude said the recent killings in Plateau State had touched the leadership of the PFN and “we are here to tender our condolences to the government and people of Plateau state.”
He said, “On the occasion of this visit, the PFN is calling on the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari to rise to the challenge and secure the lives and properties of Nigerians. It is the primary responsibility that the government owes the people.
“We call on the governments, federal and states, especially when we understand that one of the campaign promises of this present Federal Government was security, to protect lives and properties. Never in the history of this nation has innocent blood been shed across the land as we are witnessing. Our security agencies should rise to the challenge. A nation that cannot secure the lives and properties of her people is not yet free.”
The cleric also called on Christians in particular and Nigerians in general to use the opportunity of the nation’s democracy to endorse good leaders and vote out the bad eggs in the 2019 general elections.
Omobude also opposed the proposed ranching policy of the Federal Government saying in Europe, United Kingdom and America, people consume beef, adding, “yet, you don’t see cows being paraded on the streets.”
Meanwhile, a former Governor of Plateau State and Senator representing the Plateau North Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Jonah David Jang, has dismissed his alleged link with the recent killings in the state.
He said, “Doesn’t that sound funny that Jonah Jang, a Berom man from Plateau State, is organising Fulani herdsmen to come and kill Beroms or which killings are they talking about? Over 200 people have been killed in some LGAs here including Barkin Ladi, Riyom, Bassa, Bokkos, Mangu and somebody is protesting in Abuja that I am behind the killings. So, I am the person who put the arms in the hands of Fulani herdsmen to come and kill my people so that I will be the only Berom man to live with my family or what? Does that make sense?”
“It is a pity that politics is turning to what it is in Nigeria. I believe that everything is being done to find a reason to incarcerate me so that I will not participate in the ongoing politics. I am the Senator representing Plateau North, I may be re-contesting the Senate, and I may be contesting a higher position. That decision is in the making and the Peoples Democratic Party is working very hard to win the election on the Plateau and I am a key figure here on the Plateau.”